Pokémon Go is flooding our screens, our news feeds and our lives at the moment. Some people really like it and others not so much! But when you delve into what the game can offer, you might find that there’s a lot to love about Pokémon Go!
* It gets people moving! When you consider that Pokémon Go is responsible for so many people getting out and about and active (as opposed to sitting around with nothing much to do), it’s a game that’s ‘kicking goals’!
* It’s breaking down social barriers. I personally love this one – the kids and adults who were once considered ‘nerdy’ for their love of Pokémon (and who had, or still have, massive Pokémon collections) are now shining with delight as those who are not so Pokémon savvy are asking them questions, seeking their opinions and advice about characters. Their knowledge of Pokémon is enabling them to blossom within themselves!
* It provides opportunities for social learning. When you’re out searching for Pokémon characters, it’s a chance to talk about boundaries – where it is okay to go and where it is not okay (or not safe) to go – even if you are desperate to catch a Pokémon, there are decisions that you need to make about your safety! It’s a chance to practise road safety and being aware of your surroundings as you search. It’s also an opportunity to consider what it means to be respectful of other people as you’re moving around, and of other’s property.
* It provides adventure and new experiences. Searching for Pokémon characters might take you to new parts of your neighbourhood or town / city – you’ll get to see things that you might not otherwise have known were there! It’s a chance to talk about the history of buildings and some of the streetscape and natural environments.
* It offers the opportunity to learn about maths concepts – direction, area and estimation – and it builds problem solving skills (planning a route to catch a Pokémon when there are obstacles in your way).
* It builds friendship and teamwork. When groups of people are on a Pokémon adventure together, they collaborate, they share and they plan tactics!
* It’s good fun to play! And that’s enough reason in itself! 🙂
Now for those of you who are worried about the dangers of playing Pokémon Go in the community, may I suggest the following guidelines:
* Always search in pairs or in groups of people – and remember your stranger danger rules!
* Stay within well populated public areas unless you know it is safe to go into less populated spaces.
* Keep your eyes on your surroundings always (this is where it helps to be searching in pairs or groups – you can look out for each other as well).
* Never try to catch Pokémon when in a vehicle. If there is a Pokémon nearby, get out of the vehicle and only move closer to the character if it is safe to do so… remember the point above about sometimes having to make decisions that it’s not safe to catch a Pokémon no matter how desperately you want it! (My husband was on the receiving end of a swerving vehicle catching a Pokémon yesterday, and let me tell you he was a very grumpy ‘PokeMAN’ afterwards 😉 )
* Children playing Pokémon Go should be supervised by parents if outside of their usual play spaces.
* Set time limits to spend playing the game (so that you remember to eat, sleep, go to school or go to work 😉 ) – whatever seems reasonable to you or your family.
* Think about setting limits around day/night play, especially when outdoors – safety comes first.
* Be respectful of property that belongs to other people – know where you can and can’t enter and, where appropriate, ask before you do.
* Keep an eye on your phone battery – if it’s running low, go home and re-charge, but keep enough battery life for a phone call in case you need it!
* Watch your data levels and set limits via your phone settings so that you don’t overspend! You can usually set reminder alarms as you reach different stages of data usage so that you don’t accidently go overboard.
* Remember to have fun whilst being a responsible member of the community.
Are you playing Pokémon Go? What are you loving about it?
Written by Elissa Plumridge